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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman (2009)

by Jon Krakauer

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1,629687,949 (3.88)50
Irrepressible individualist and iconoclast Pat Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract in May 2002 to enlist in the United States Army. Deeply troubled by 9/11, he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in Afghanistan. Though obvious to most on the scene that a ranger in Tillman's own platoon had fired the fatal shots, the Army aggressively maneuvered to keep this information from Tillman's family and the American public for five weeks following his death, while President Bush repeatedly invoked Tillman's name to promote his administration's foreign policy. Biographer Krakauer draws on his journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research in Afghanistan to render this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death.--From publisher description.… (more)
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    bluenotebookonline: It's not a war story, but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is another very compelling, well-written story centered on a family seeking the truth about what happened to a loved one.
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Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
I liked the beginning of this book more than I did the end. It has good summaries of histories, good description of snippets of Pat Tillman's life growing up, some potentially interesting moments from Pat's college life, career and enlistment and a lot of disappointment for the reader. (At least this reader)

The military descriptions are stilted, leaving moments that should have been filled with drama, very boring. The ambush scene, which ends in Pat's death, is boring the first time it is told, at the beginning of the book. It does not improve with the retelling the second time, hundreds of pages later. Also, I take issue the the author's omniscience. He tells his version of the events, without question, then pokes fun at the people who were actually there, who were trying to figure things out. It is the kind of Monday morning quarterbacking Tillman would have scoffed.

Why is Jessica Lynch's story even relevant? Was the miasma of Pat Tillman's story not convincing enough?
Also, why does Pat's story end with 10% of the book remaining. The last 10% was truly the most painful as the author highlights all his disdain for those involved.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  LuckyWitter | Apr 22, 2021 |
I really was bored with the first 2/3 of this book. Sports Politics and War? yaaaawwwwn.

But somewhere in that last third I found myself unable to stop thinking about what I was reading and what it all meant.

Not sure I got out of it what most people did, but as I read it for my first book club I guess I will find out. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Great book, interesting history of Afghanistan. I liked it. ( )
  4dahalibut | Dec 13, 2020 |
Ebook from my library. Pretty interesting; a little too much sports, a little light on the Jihadists (current and historical).
Finished. The sports stuff is over quickly. Very well-written, and an extemely powerful story. In the center of the story is another friendly-fire incident in the town of Nasiriyah. Highly recommended. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
Meaning in no way to diminish the loss of Pat Tillman to his family, the striking aspect of this book is that once again Jon Krakauer has put wide-ranging, in-depth research together into an excellent piece of Non-Fiction, with a powerful message. No government, including that of the United States, can be trusted tol choose the truth over revealing deeply embarrassing information. It is crucial to take in news with an ear attuned to what motivations are involved, and to who is the source of the information. ( )
  hemlokgang | Mar 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
Mr. Krakauer cobbled together his book in a spirit of desperation. Though he set out in search of Mr. Tillman’s whole story, he didn’t find what he was looking for.
 
There is a master’s hand evident in this particular depiction of events in a life that will end too soon, meticulously built of pieces carefully chiseled from recent international history, political intrigue, first-hand reporting, thoughtful reading, and a feel for what is most human. The author, like his subject, purposefully strides out on his great battlefield too.
 
Those who have spent time in the military and have seen it struggle not just with war but with everyday barracks life tend to err on the side of incompetence, while those who never have -- such as Krakauer -- tend to suspect conspiracy.
 
The best-selling author Jon Krakauer has now told the full story in “Where Men Win Glory.” The combination of Krakauer and Tillman seems hard to resist: Krakauer is a masterly writer and reporter; “Into Thin Air,” his account of a disastrous climbing expedition on Mount Everest, is as riveting and harrowing a book as I’ve ever read. With Tillman, you would think he’d have all he needed to fashion an epic narrative. Unfortunately, he fails to pull it off.
 
Krakauer -- whose forensic studies of the Emersonian Man in books such as "Into Thin Air" and 'Into the Wild" yield so much insight -- has turned in a beautiful bit of reporting, documenting Tillman's life with journals and interviews with those close to him.
added by Shortride | editLos Angeles Times, Dan Neil (Sep 11, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
Who among mortal men are you, good friend? Since never before have I seen you in fighting where men win glory, yet now you have come striding far out in front of all others in your great heart . . .
- Homer, The Iliad
Dedication
For Linda; and in memory of Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, killed in action on June 21, 2006, near Gowardesh, Afghanistan
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If David Uthlaut was still angry when the convoy finally rolled out of Magarah, Afghanistan, the young lieutenant kept his emotions hidden from the forty-four Army Rangers under his command.
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Irrepressible individualist and iconoclast Pat Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract in May 2002 to enlist in the United States Army. Deeply troubled by 9/11, he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in Afghanistan. Though obvious to most on the scene that a ranger in Tillman's own platoon had fired the fatal shots, the Army aggressively maneuvered to keep this information from Tillman's family and the American public for five weeks following his death, while President Bush repeatedly invoked Tillman's name to promote his administration's foreign policy. Biographer Krakauer draws on his journals and letters, interviews with his wife and friends, conversations with the soldiers who served alongside him, and extensive research in Afghanistan to render this driven, complex, and uncommonly compelling figure as well as the definitive account of the events and actions that led to his death.--From publisher description.

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